IN THE SADDLE
Horse shows, horseracing and events are going ahead ‘behind closed doors’ and Chipping Pony Club is no exception, organising fun activities whilst observing strict government guidelines, writes Paula Kopydlowski. Photography: Paula Kopydlowski and Jade Thompson
The Chipping Pony Club Summer Camp at Somerford Park was a victim of the coronavirus pandemic after Pony Club headquarters advised branches not to run a residential camp, so committee members got their heads together to run a one-day show jumping and cross country rally at Somerford Park, under the brilliant instruction of event rider David Llewelyn. Members were put through their paces and were well and truly back on form following their training in one of Somerford’s beautiful show jumping arenas and on the cross country development field.
An evening rally of multi-discipline training was also held at Red Cat Field in Chorley, where Jo Baxter was able to improve everyone’s confidence and technique, riding on the undulating field over poles, show jumps and a great selection of cross country fences they have there including ditches, banks and a water complex. The junior ride in particular showed tremendous improvement in their confidence and it was great to see members going home with big smiles, tired and happy.
A show jump training session in Myerscough College’s International Arena with Jeanette Powell followed shortly after which consolidated the work done earlier that week, seeing the juniors completing an entire course of fences by the end of the session. Senior members also had a lesson to polish up their technique before Winter League starts in September.
Perhaps the best fun was the Beach Riding Achievement Badge session, which was held at Pilling Sands, with the focus being to educate riders on how to ride safely on the beach. An initial theory session taught members what research they need to do before riding on a beach, such as checking the tide times, the weather, avoiding sinking sand and marsh, the dangers to look out for and how to avoid them and of course, being courteous to other beach users. A ride followed in the evening sunshine. The whoops of joy as they cantered together in small groups down the beach could be heard from afar!
The evening went very well and despite driving to the beach in torrential rain, the sun was shining for the entire session and the members had a wonderful time.
Outside of Pony Club, members Kaitlin Bolton and Grace Garstang have had the privilege to show jump at Bolesworth with British Show Jumping and Sarah Hoare and Erin Kopydlowski have their British Eventing careers well under way with some success. Well done to the Chipping Pony Club members!
With an all-day rally to look forward to before school begins and the Winter League competitions in mounted games, show jumping, dressage and combined training looking likely to go ahead (albeit a little differently than we are used to) things are looking up.
If you are interested in joining, please contact Chipping’s District Commissioner Joanne Conlon 07739 687972 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org